In a shocking move Aston Martin has revealed that they are partnering with Toyota to produce an Aston version of the iQ micro car. The car will retail for around £20,000 (likely over $30,000 if it comes to the US) and will retain all the mechanicals and technical layout (including the unique 3+1 seating arrangement) of the iQ. It’s worth noting that Toyota plans to introduce the iQ in the US as a Scion in the next year.

The iQ has been praised for it’s engineering and efficiency but its driving dynamics leave a lot to be desired. It’s an interesting move to say the least – especially considering what the Aston Martin brand stands for in the world of luxury automakers. Full press release after the jump…

>Official Aston Martin Press Release: New Aston Martin “Cygnet” inspired by Toyota’s iQ Collaboration marks critical step in plans to expand ‘iQ world’

>Toyota’s revolutionary iQ platform is about to reset traditional thinking, with plans that the world’s
smallest four-seater will serve as the basis for a new luxury commuter car to be exclusively built for and sold to Aston Martin owners. Toyota Motor Europe (TME) today announced that the new “Cygnet” would pair Aston Martin’s trademark design flair with the Toyota iQ’s highly compact and low-CO2 city driving package. The commuter car will be tailored specifically to customer requirements at Aston Martin’s global headquarters in Gaydon, the United Kingdom.

>’It’s a great compliment that the Toyota iQ has been hand-picked by one of the world’s most prestigious sports car brands, a company with whom we also share a strong friendship. This collaboration represents a natural pairing of strategies: a small yet spacious package, perfect for the city driver, finished off with Aston Martin’s iconic design language,’ said Tadashi Arashima, CEO and President of TME. ‘The Cygnet is a good choice for the Aston Martin owner looking for that second or third car, which is luxurious and eco-conscious,’ he added.

>Although radically different in size and customer base, Aston Martin and Toyota are united in their corporate philosophies of delivering superior quality, engineering excellence and innovative technology. The collaboration is also fortunate to benefit from a strong relationship underlined by a passion for cars.

>The Toyota iQ is considered a breakthrough in intelligent design. Less than three metres in length, its flexible package can accommodate up to four people, providing owners with a new dimension of versatility. Featuring a range of design innovations – such as its flat under-floor fuel tank and asymmetric dashboard – the iQ is positioned as the “no compromise choice” with CO2 emissions starting as low as 99 g/km. It also offers outstanding levels of passive and active safety equipment resulting in a Euro NCAP 5-star rating.

>Despite tough market conditions for the automotive industry, the Toyota iQ has proved appealing to a wide variety of city drivers with a taste for style, driving performance and low CO2. The Toyota iQ made its European sales debut in January 2009. It continues to perform in line with expectation, with over 25,000 units sold to-date.

>The planned collaboration with Aston Martin is a timely endorsement of the iQ’s superior packaging. The announcement marks a critical step in Toyota’s longer-term planning to expand the ‘iQ world’ – that is, to bring new versions of the Toyota iQ to market globally and expand the company’s eco-friendly line-up.